10 Tips for Avoiding Holiday Stress this Season

December 22, 2016

The good news is…you’ve survived Thanksgiving! But now, how do you make it through Christmas, Hanukkah, and the New Year without drowning in holiday stress?

Yes, the holidays are far from relaxing, in fact they can be downright stressful! According to the findings of a recent Mayo Clinic Study, 69% of adults feel overwhelmed because they don’t have enough time to get things done during the holiday season, and 69% also experience stress because of a “lack of money.”

Holiday Stress Statistics

What Drives Us Crazy

We all know the things that bother us the most during this time of year…Crazy drivers (of course, you’re not one of them), having difficulty finding a parking space at the mall, waiting in long-lines to checkout, and dealing with rude people. These are all external factors that we really have “no” control over, but we can definitely learn to deal with in a more positive way.

Change the Way You Think About Things

There are also holiday parties to go to, deciding whether to bring a date or go “solo,” and making sure we have the right attire that may create extra added pressure. All of this, combined with family demands and expectations can sometimes make it difficult to stay calm. And let’s not forget choosing what gifts to buy while staying within your budget!


What Is The Definition of Stress

Did you know that stress is defined as any change we experience, positive or negative? So even if we’re excited about having family/friends over for a holiday dinner, it still creates stress, because it’s a change in our normal routine. And…of course, we want everything to be “perfect.

Did you know that stress is defined as any change we experience, positive or negative? Click To Tweet

The Need To Be Perfect Syndrome

If you have the “need to be perfect syndrome” know that you’re creating a lot of “internal” stress for yourself. Not to worry though…there is a cure! Many of us don’t realize that our own thoughts or “self-talk” can create unnecessary stress especially during the holiday season. The good news is we can learn to control our internal thoughts.

We can learn to control our internal thoughts. Click To Tweet

10 Tips For Staying Afloat During The Holidays and The New Year

  1. Accept the things you can’t change…like waiting in line. Take some Deep Breaths while waiting, think of something funny to pass the time, or “People Watch.”
  2. Make sure to plan ahead and allow yourself plenty of time to do your shopping or errands. You’ll be much more relaxed and will have more patience for the crowds.
  3. Make a list of the people you need to buy gifts for and approximately how much you’re going to spend on each one. This will help you to stay within your budget.
  4. Be realistic about what you can do. How many parties do you have time for? Which ones do you really want to attend?
  5. Start becoming aware of yourself-talk.” If you’ve never tuned in, you may be surprised at some of the things you say in your head! Notice any “shoulds” or “oughts” that you’re communicating to yourself.
  6. Re-evaluate your shoulds and decide if they are realistic for you now. Ask yourself if it’s a want or a need instead of a “should.”
  7. Recognize your own limitations. If you’re too busy and you don’t have the time, set boundaries. It’s okay to say “NO” without feeling guilty!
  8. Delegate. If you’re having guests over for the holidays and need some help, why not delegate some tasks to someone you can trust? What’s the worst thing that can happen…?
  9. Have the courage to beimperfect.” You will feel so much more relaxed!
  10. Remember to take care of yourself by making sure you eat regular meals and
    stay hydrated even when you’re trying to get everything done. You can always throw a protein bar or two in your car, so you won’t have to skip a meal!

Stress can get the best of us, but it doesn’t have to. Just follow these tips and they will be your “life preserver” to keep you from being pulled under!

Here’s a cheat sheet that you can print out to stay on top of your stress this holiday season!

Avoid Holiday Stress Cheat Sheet
Jacqueline Falchook, M.Ed., Marriage and Family Therapist and the Psychological Consultant at ROVR